Today, on International Coffee Day, we have taken a moment to talk about the oldest coffee houses in India that have served popular poets, freedom fighters, politicians, and filmmakers. Take a look!
Which names come to your mind when you think about coffee places? Probably, Starbucks, CCD, or McCafe? Well, there are a lot more places that have the magic to make your day even brighter with their historical importance and a marvellous coffee taste! Yes, we are talking about the oldest coffee houses in India that are still standing strong even now and enticing people with their charm. Check out a few of them below!
1. Canara Coffee House, Vadodara
One of the oldest coffee houses based on Dandia Bazaar Road, Canara Coffee House still gives you the same welcome as it used to give years back when it was opened on August 10, 1954. Pandurang Madhav Kudva, who owns the place, had made a come back in 2016 to again offer its popular Poona Misal, their signature dish made with sprouts, cereals, and pulses garnished with onions, farsan, sev and sweet chutney, along with some hot coffee after a long break. As the owner was once found saying – the coffee house used to serve Nobel Laureate Venkatraman Ramakrishnan regularly, and many cricketers from Vadodara were also frequent visitors here!
2. United Coffee House, Delhi
This place is the best way to peek into the past, where various artists and intellectuals have spent their time sipping coffee. United Coffee House has beautiful golden walls, chandeliers, and pieces of Victorian architecture, which was built by Lala Hans Raj Kalra, who was a liquor baron and hotelier. As per their records, he had experience running a restaurant called ESPLANADE in Chandni Chowk and would also manufacture country liquor in Sialkot, Pakistan. You will be amazed to know that initially, it used to be a grocery shop, which was later converted into a cafe in 1942. Currently, the coffee house is also a fine dining space in Cannaught Place, and the locals have a special place for the house in their hearts!
3. Flury’s, Kolkata
Established in 1927 by a Swiss couple, Joseph and Frieda Flury, this coffee house used to be a place for many filmmakers. As it was a spot where one could enjoy an English breakfast, it is said that Satyajit Ray had a credit account here for the same. Moreover, Raj Kapoor has also visited this place, adding to the popularity of Flury’s, whose rum balls are famous along with its coffee. Reportedly, the Swiss couple ran in for four decades before moving back home. However, even with the change in the management, the legacy did not go away, as most of the heritage items are still included in the menu. The new addition of beans on toast was done in the 1970s.
4. Mavalli Tiffin Room, Bengaluru
There is no doubt that Bengaluru residents are big-time admirers of this place for its crispy dosas and filter coffee! It was started by brothers Parameshwara Maiya, Ganappaya Maiya, and Yagnanarayana Maiya in 1924 after they moved from Udupi to Bengaluru. As they were proficient in cooking, they were employed as cooks in the homes of some important people of those times. However, things changed with their new Brahmin Coffee Club, later named MTR, which was opened to serve idlis and coffee. The place soon became popular as MTR, and people were often seen struggling to get a seat there. Do you know MTR has also broken records for serving 21,000 guests in 7 hours? Even now, it serves all the beverages in telltale silver tumblers.
5. Brahmin’s Coffee Bar, Bengaluru
Have you heard of a coconut chutney and coffee combination? If not, you must visit this place which was opened by K V Nagesh Rao and his wife on January 27, 1965, in Shankarapura. It is said that the chutney was supervised by Narasimha Rao’s wife, KN Saraswati. They had moved to Bengaluru in 1932. In the initial days, the place served coffee and some snacks. In 1970, Ms. Saraswati made some Khara Bath at home, which the duo offered to customers along with coconut chutney. With an instant hit, this has been the signature dish of Brahmins’ Coffee Bar. Along with this, the menu that includes Coffee, Khara Bath, Kesari Bath, Idli, and Vada remained unchanged to date. People in Bengaluru do not miss a chance to visit this iconic roadside coffee house!
6. Indian Coffee House, various locations
The Coffee Cess Committee had started the Indian Coffee House chain, then India Coffee House, in 1936 in Churchgate, Mumbai, and was so dedicated to the place that they had come together once again to save it from closure during the mid-1950s. In 1957, the first coffee house under this cooperative society was started in the Theatre Communication Building in Cannaught Place in Delhi. The great poet Rabindranath Tagore was a frequent visitor to one of its outlets in College Street, Kolkata. Moreover, the place also finds its mention in a famous song by Manna Dey. Moreover, the outlets of one of the first coffee houses in India always enjoyed recognition from people due to its same charm and menu. At present, it has over 400 outlets across the country for die-hard coffee fans!
Also Read: Head to The Bread Bar in Chembur, Mumbai, to enjoy flaky croissants, fresh snacks, coffee, and more!
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